Blood-spattered Bran Castle is Transylvania's hottest property, reports Ben Travers
Say what you will about his personal habits, but when it comes to spinning gore into gold, Vlad the Impaler, enthusiastic champion of man's inhumanity to man, can be said to have few rivals.
The 15th-century tyrant - the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula - is known to have resided at Bran Castle, near Brasov in Transylvania, as either pampered guest or shackled inmate, according to conflicting reports.
What is indisputable is that the imposing, 14th-century fortress-turned-museum has never baulked from cashing in on its association with bad lad Vlad, whose preferred mode of execution secured his place in history. Today, it is for sale at a spine-chilling £40 million.
Castle Dracula, as it is commonly known, is a failsafe tourist attraction, pulling in 450,000 visitors a year. The former residence of Queen Victoria's grand-daughter, Queen Marie of Romania, it was appropriated by the country's Communist regime in 1956.